Accident Zivko Edge 540 N540BW, 22 Aug 2009
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 67991
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Time:12:10 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic EDGE model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Zivko Edge 540
Owner/operator:Vicki Cruse
Registration: N540BW
MSN: 0021
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Silverstone racing circuit, Towcester, Northamptonshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Silverstone racing circuit, Towcester, Northamptonshire (EGBV)
Destination airport:Silverstone racing circuit, Towcester, Northamptonshire (EGBV)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The aircraft was being flown in an aerobatic competition during which it failed to recover from a downwards snap roll manoeuvre, initiated at about 2,300 feet agl. The aircraft continued to rotate until it struck the ground, fatally injuring the pilot.

The single seater Zivko Edge 540 plane crashed on the southern end of the racetrack at midday killing the famous acrobatic pilot Vicki Cruse. As seen in the photo below, ít was not Vicki's own machine, but Zivko Edge 540 N540BW. The US didn't transport own aircraft and Vicki "borrowed" an European based example.

The AAIB investigation discovered a mechanism whereby rudder pedal extensions used by the pilot could have contributed to a rudder control restriction, but pilot incapacitation was also considered a possible contributory factor.

The inquest jury returned a narrative verdict, adding that the left rudder could not be fully removed in order to recover from an aerobatic manoeuvre.

Miss Cruse, a former US aerobatic champion, was among 62 pilots from around the world competing in the event at Silverstone on 22 August. In a statement read out at High Wycombe magistrates' court, the jury concluded: "Vicki Cruse, a highly experienced aerobatic competitor, while taking part in the FAI World Aerobatic Championships, failed to recover from a downward snap roll manoeuvre, resulting in her plane crashing to the ground, leading to immediate death as the result of severe multiple injuries.

"Based on the evidence given to the jury, it is our belief that the deceased's rudder pedal extensions, installed on her instruction, caused a restriction to the left pedal such that the left rudder could not be fully removed once applied in order to recover from the manoeuvre.

"We believe this was a significant contributing factor in this fatal accident."

Registration N540BW cancelled by the FAA on 9/11/2009


1. AAIB:
2. FAA:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


Zivko Edge 540 N504BW at Drachten, Netherlands (EHDR) on 08-06-2005: Zivko Edge 540 Mike Mangold, EHDR Drachten, Netherlands PP1118253843

Revision history:

22-Aug-2009 11:34 RobertMB Added
22-Aug-2009 22:25 Alpine Flight Updated
23-Aug-2009 06:14 RobertMB Updated
23-Aug-2009 12:16 78Delta Updated
23-Aug-2009 13:21 RobertMB Updated
23-Aug-2009 13:26 RobertMB Updated
08-Jan-2011 09:07 Alpine Flight Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport]
15-Oct-2012 16:57 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative]
15-Oct-2012 17:04 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
10-Nov-2016 12:59 Dr.John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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